COVID Vaccine Mandate Set For Eligible Amherst-Pelham Students
The Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee has set December 1 as the deadline for eligible students to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Officials said they believe Amherst is the first district in Massachusetts to impose a mandate for students.
School committee member Peter Demling criticized Massachusetts education officials, as well as Governor Charlie Baker, for not taking statewide action.
Earlier this month, the Amherst Board of Health voted to include fully approved COVID-19 vaccines to the list of required shots for school students.
The mandate includes an exemption for "medical or religious" reasons and only covers "vaccines that have received full FDA approval." While emergency approval allows the Pfizer vaccine to be given to children as young as 12, full approval has only been granted for people 16 and older. Neither the Moderna nor Johnson & Johnson vaccines have yet received full FDA approval.
The December 1 deadline covers all required vaccines. Superintendent Michael Morris said the pandemic has caused some families to fall behind on shots against other diseases.
Sam Hudzik contributed.